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Trade, Interdependence and Exchange Rates

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  • Fitzgerald, Doireann
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    Abstract

    The empirical “gravity†equation is extremely successful in explaining bilateral trade. This paper shows how a multi-country model of specialization and costly trade (i.e. a microfounded gravity model) can be applied to explain empirical exchange rate puzzles. One such puzzle is the fact that nominal exchange rates are enormously volatile, but that this volatility does not appear to affect inflation. The gravity model is very successful in explaining this puzzle. In a sample of 25 OECD countries in the post- Bretton Woods period, the gravity prediction of inflation substantially outperforms the purchasing power parity prediction. The gravity prediction matches the volatility of actual inflation, and tracks its path closely. The superior performance of the gravity prediction is explained primarily by the fact that it takes account of the interaction of specialization with home bias. The stability of inflation in very open economies is explained in addition by the fact that the size of bilateral trade is negatively correlated with bilateral exchange rate volatility.

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    File URL: http://www.escholarship.org/uc/item/4794h3b1.pdf;origin=repeccitec
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Center for International Economics, UC Santa Cruz in its series Santa Cruz Center for International Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt4794h3b1.

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    Date of creation: 01 Nov 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:cdl:scciec:qt4794h3b1

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    Related research

    Keywords: Exchange rate disconnect; Trade; Gravity equation;

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    1. Hau, Harald, 2000. "Real Exchange Rate Volatility and Economic Openness: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2356, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Fabio Ghironi & Marc J. Melitz, 2004. "International Trade and Macroeconomic Dynamics with Heterogeneous Firms," NBER Working Papers 10540, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Philip R. Lane, & Patrick Honohan, 2003. "Divergent Inflation Rates in EMU," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp05, IIIS.
    4. Engel, C., 1996. "Accounting for U.S. Real Exchange Rate Changes," Working Papers 96-02, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
    5. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2000. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," NBER Working Papers 7777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca, 2002. "Macroeconomics of international price discrimination," Working Paper Series 0176, European Central Bank.
    7. Campa, José Manuel & Goldberg, Linda S, 2004. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through into Import Prices," CEPR Discussion Papers 4391, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Christian Broda & John Romalis, 2011. "Identifying the Relationship Between Trade and Exchange Rate Volatility," NBER Chapters, in: Commodity Prices and Markets, East Asia Seminar on Economics, Volume 20, pages 79-110 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
    10. Papell, David H & Theodoridis, Hristos, 2001. "The Choice of Numeraire Currency in Panel Tests of Purchasing Power Parity," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(3), pages 790-803, August.
    11. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 1995. "Regional Patterns in the Law of One Price: The Roles of Geography vs. Currencies," NBER Working Papers 5395, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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